‘Hounds defeat Casa in SCL wrestling

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

HEALDSBURG — The Greyhounds clinched at least a tie for their fourth Sonoma County League regular season wrestling title in six years Wednesday night, defeating Casa Grande, 48-16.
A win next Wednesday at Petaluma and Healdsburg will win the crown outright. Windsor is in second with a 5-1 record. Following the regular season, there will be a league tournament that will have a bearing on determining the overall league champ.

The Greyhounds won nine of the 13 weight classes against Casa and, as expected, Adam Hendrickson remained unbeaten in league and improved his season record to 29-1. Ranked No. 4 in the state in the 142-pound division, the junior scored a 15-0 major decision over Sean O’Brien.
It’s not surprising Hendrickson has shown an affinity for wrestling. His father, John, grappled for the University of Iowa in the early 1980s.

John kept that family secret from his son until four years ago.
“I didn’t want Adam to think I was pushing him to wrestle,” the father said. “He joined a wrestling club as a fifth-grader because he thought it would make him tougher in football. That was his sport back then.”
The younger Hendrickson began to excel in wrestling by the time he was in eighth grade and told his dad he was ready to commit to being the best he could be.

“One day, I think we were driving to Fresno for a tournament and I asked my dad if he wrestled in high school,” Hendrickson said. “He looked over at me and said ‘Yes, and I also wrestled in college.’”
While his son listened in amazement, the father recounted how he wrestled at St. Ansgar High in Iowa and got an athletic-academic scholarship to the Big 10 school.
The elder Hendrickson went on to get degrees in chemistry and nuclear medicine and practices nuclear cardiology in Santa Rosa.

Knowing his son also had a passion for wrestling, the father began teaching him everything he knew about the sport.
“I learned a lot from my father,” the son said. “Just as important is the time he’s spent taking me to meets. I can’t even remember how many trips we’ve made to Fresno. My dad has put in the time, that’s for sure.”
The past year, the Hendrickson family traveled to Oklahoma and North Dakota for national meets.

Hendrickson won the SCL and North Coast Section tournaments as a sophomore and this year, he’s setting his sights on winning gold at state. His only loss this season was to Isiah Martinez of Leemore (near Fresno).
“I won’t have to face him at state,” Hendrickson said. “I went up to the 148 class to wrestle him. In the postseason, I’ll be in the 142 division.”

On Wednesday, he had O’Brien on the mat five seconds into the match. Hendrickson increased the lead to 12-0 after one round and got the major decision after 2:46.
Hendrickson, the only Redwood Empire athlete to finish first in last Saturday’s Puma Classic at Maria Carrillo, said his wrestling continues to improve.

“My match strategy is better,” he said. “I’m more patient and relaxed on the mat.”
Scott Weidemier, the Greyhounds’ co-head coach, is one of Hendrickson’s biggest fans.
“Adam puts in the time to become the best he can be,” Weidemier said. “I’m not at all surprised at what he’s accomplishing.”

While Hendrickson wrestles year-round, he also plays for the Healdsburg football team. He was selected all-league linebacker this past season as the Greyhounds made a deep run in NCS.
Matt Tsarnas, who is ranked No. 2 in NCS and 34th in state, scored a decisive 8-0 victory over Jack Fausone in the 154 division.
Casa is 3-3 with one league match remaining.